Anyone facing a criminal charge (no matter how insignificant) should take the case seriously by seeking professional legal representation. Although your personal or family lawyer may be able to help, you should look for someone who specializes in criminal defense cases to represent you. Criminal defence barristers specialize in such cases and are better equipped and experienced than an average lawyer. They are eloquent in what they do, hence, can convince the jury that you are indeed innocent (and walk), or at the very least, ensure you get a fair trial.
Finding the right attorney for the job can however be a challenging and intimidating task for most people. While your friends and family and professional organizations may help you find some candidates for the job, it is your responsibility to look for the most suitable candidate for the job. Discussed below are some of the attributes and factors to consider when looking for a criminal defense attorney.
1. Specialization: As mentioned earlier, every criminal charge should be taken seriously, as even the smallest of all can land you in jail. This is the reason why you need a professional who understands criminal defense much better. Criminal defence barristers only specialize in criminal cases, meaning they are better equipped for the job than any other lawyer is. Specializing in one niche enables these attorneys to analyze various cases expertly and understand everything in their line of duty much better. An expert criminal lawyer is therefore the best deal even for the most serious of federal charges.
2. Availability: Criminal charges are some of the most difficult cases any lawyer can handle. The lawyer needs plenty of time to investigate the matter and be able to come up with concrete ways of defending you in court. Since most of the attorneys in this field are bundled with cases from their clients, you should take the time to identify one with enough time to make your case. Researching on the attorney and knowing how his/her schedules are, should tell you if the lawyer is too busy or available for a case. Talking to the attorney about your case and finding out if he/she is available is also mandatory as well.
3. Experience: Each criminal case is unique and requires extensive research and understanding of criminal law. Specializing in criminal law and availability isn’t enough for an attorney to represent you in a court of law. This attorney should have some years of experience working on multiple criminal cases as a defense attorney. An experienced attorney knows the law like the back of his hand, and can help you understand your case and possible outcomes from the first sitting. Handling dozens of criminal cases prepares the attorney for more challenging cases, meaning he/she gets better with each case.
4. Reputation and Trust: Reputation matters a lot for every lawyer. Although there may be dozens of lawyers at your disposal, very few of them have a squeaky-clean reputation. Lawyers have a habit of manipulating each other to win cases; meaning the best way to get proper, professional representation is by hiring a reputable attorney. You will also be entrusting your freedom and life to this attorney, which is the reason you should look into his/her past before making the hire.
Remember to discuss legal fees and any other costs that may arise as the case proceeds. Be sure to hire an affordable attorney and someone you can trust.